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Red wine and too much alcohol is just one of the things you should avoid when you have tinnitus.

There are few conditions that are more complex to understand for people who don’t suffer from tinnitus. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.

But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and is often very difficult to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

While that 50 million number is huge, it seems even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently try hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for some people.
  • Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at soothing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Infections; Since a lingering cold can quickly turn into a sinus infection there has always been commentary about the need to find a cure for it. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
  • Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Reducing jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. To make certain it doesn’t build up to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed to get eight hours each night. Sleep is another essential aspect of healthy living that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
  • Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
  • Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation arises where you will be subjected to loud noises, be careful. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves working around loud machinery.

Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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